Stories by Eli Lehrer

Eli Lehrer is Vice President of Washington D.C. operations for the Heartland Institute.

Santorum Masters Retail Politics

January 4th, 2012 at 11:35 am 19 Comments

David Frum argues that a “A Romney-Santorum contest is not much of a contest at all.” He’s probably right about this. Romney beats Santorum hands down in resources, organization, discipline, and support from GOP elites. But there’s one wild-card that could make things interesting: Santorum may somehow learn to master the art of retail politics.

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Change Iowa’s Secret Ballot

January 2nd, 2012 at 1:15 pm 14 Comments

University of Iowa professor Stephen Bloom has gotten a lot of well-deserved criticism for an error-ridden piece in The Atlantic that’s sets new records for academic elitism, distain, and distate for just about everything about his adopted state. Much as I abhor Bloom’s style–it represents just about everything that drove me away from my parents’ uber-left views–I think that his point that Iowa’s role in the presidential nominating contest is overblown has something to it.

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Best of FF: A Party of Jerks

December 30th, 2011 at 12:00 am 41 Comments

As 2011 comes to a close, FrumForum plans to re-run some of our best featured pieces from the year. Here is Eli Lehrer’s observation on the GOP leadership.

I’m not the first to make this comment, but the current debt limit debate shows what the Tea Party movement (which I once basically supported) really values: being a jerk. Speaker Boehner has a close-to-perfect voting record on conservative issues, is not terribly warm in person (heck, Newt comes across better) and has proposed a good, tough spending cut plan. But he has also demonstrated a modicum of willingness to work with the president and appears to want to bring the debt ceiling crisis to a close.

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Ron Paul: No Pro-Lifer

December 29th, 2011 at 2:26 pm 30 Comments

For at least some of the Republican candidates, I don’t doubt that the position that abortion should be illegal even in cases of rape, incest and the mother’s life stems from sincere, deep moral conviction.

But Iowa front-runner Ron Paul’s position that states should outlaw abortion even in these “hard cases” but the federal government should not extend any rights to the unborn ought to be more disturbing to the pro-life movement than even an outright pro-abortion position.

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It’s Still Romney’s Turn

December 26th, 2011 at 7:40 am 16 Comments

Rick Perry and Newt Gingrich’s mutual failure to qualify for the Virginia ballot raises lots of questions about their long term viability, funding, and organization. But it isn’t that surprising at all for one simple reason: neither has run for President before while the two candidates who qualified, Ron Paul and Mitt Romney, both have.

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Yes, Hotels Draw Job Seekers. So What?

December 19th, 2011 at 12:22 am 6 Comments

Journalists need good, shocking examples of the country’s still serious unemployment problems and one offered itself this past weekend when people filled out more than 16,000 applications for about 750 positions as a new Cleveland casino. The deluge of applications made for good TV and appeared on dozens of websites.

Only one problem: dramatic as they are, the long lines of job seekers for a hotel are meaningless for a hotel or big casino are meaningless. (The Cleveland operation has no hotel as such but does offer hundreds of hotel-like jobs.)

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Romney Doesn’t Carry Small Change

December 12th, 2011 at 4:46 pm 47 Comments

Mitt Romney’s proposed $10,000 bet with Rick Perry has earned a lot of criticism for the candidate. Given that it was a rhetorical device (albeit a clumsy one) rather than an actual bet and given that a $10,000 is not really a lot of money for a presidential campaign, I’m personally inclined to give Romney a pass.

That said, another story that got much less media attention at the time it happened does really seem to show that he is out of touch on financial issues. Here are the basics: during a campaign stop, a small boy offered Romney a small bird he had folded out of a dollar bill, Romney glanced in his wallet and, at first, the Washington Post reports, could only find a $100 bill. (He eventually found a $5 to give to the boy.)

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It’s Hard to End Subsidies for Millionaires

December 9th, 2011 at 12:26 pm 21 Comments

Steve Moore and Walter Williams’ proposed “Millionaire Subsidy Elimination Act” , floated in today’s Wall Street Journal, surely has a lot to recommend it. People who make a huge amount of money surely don’t deserve any true individual benefits from the state.

Nice as it sounds on paper, however, making the idea work in practice seems to present a lot of practical and logistical hurdles. None seem insurmountable but all would have to be dealt with in some way. Here are four:

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An Environmental Nominee Conservatives Should Love

December 7th, 2011 at 12:00 am 24 Comments

Rebecca Wodder, President Obama’s nominee to serve as the Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Fish, Wildlife, and Parks will be a topic of discussion in the business meeting of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Thursday. And many Republicans on the committee are sure to raise tough questions about her.

Wodder, the former CEO of the environmental group American Rivers, holds a number of positions that conservatives largely disagree with. But if they actually believe that frequent (and true) conservative refrain that big government damages the environment, she deserves enthusiastic support from Republicans on the committee.

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E.T. Won’t Be Phoning Anytime Soon

December 6th, 2011 at 11:28 am 38 Comments

News that astronomers using NASA’s Kepler Space Telescope had discovered an Earth-like “Goldilocks” planet where liquid water can exist certainly deserves the attention it has received. In fact, evidence of life surviving–and even thriving–in very unlikely places on Earth tempts one to believe that, given billions of years and a decent supply of organic molecules, life (albeit simple bacterial life) will eventually develop just about anywhere liquid water exists.

All that said, even absolute evidence of bacteria or non-sentient animals on an alien world would offer plenty of grist for scientists in certain fields but little that would change the life for most people in the short term.

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